Tuesday, May 28th, 2013



Viridiana Martinez



Father of 3 US Citizen Children Faces Deportation

The children will hold a vigil to ask for their father’s release 


Sanford, NC– Juan Joya Mejia (A#097-951-344)  lives in Sanford, North Carolina with his family but was in Pennsylvania looking for work to provide for his family. He was arrested after a neighbor called the police accusing Juan of looking suspicious when he was only playing with a bee bee gun. The police did not arrest him at first, but they came back after and asked him for his immigration status and turned him in to ICE. Juan is now at risk of deportation even though he did nothing wrong. He is currently detained at York County Prison in Pennsylvania and faces imminent deportation.

Juan has severe liver complications and onset heart problems. He needs medication that he cannot access in detention. He is the father of 3 U.S. citizen children who need him home. His wife, Maria, is at high risk for ovarian cancer, and she needs help sustaining their children.

Juan’s friends, wife and three US citizen children will be holding a vigil to ask immigration authorities for his immediate release.

WHEN:          Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

TIME:            7PM

WHERE:       St. Stephen Catholic Church – 901 N Franklin Dr.,  Sanford, NC 27330

WHO:             Organized by The NC Dream Team as part of the Secure Your Own Community (SYOC) project, where immigrant youth fight to stop the deportation of our peers and community.

Juan was born in El Salvador but came to the United States to escape violent gangs that were trying to recruit him and threatened him when he refused to join them. Juan has been living in the United States since 2003 and has no criminal record. He is a caring and hard-working father.

Juan needs to be released so he can join his family in North Carolina, receive proper medical care and provide for them. He is a low priority for deportation and meets the requirements for favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion under the 2011 Morton Memo. 


For more information about Juan, you can visit the online petition:


The NC DREAM Team is an organization composed of undocumented immigrant youth and allies who are dedicated to the creation of a sustainable, community-led immigrant rights movement in North Carolina. We aim to help undocumented youth recognize their individual and collective power to activate their communities. We will escalate in our efforts to achieve a just reform that is acceptable to–and guided by–the voices of those directly affected by our broken immigration system.